He also hinted that the service could even help artists replace traditional record labels.
In a Q&A given at the New York University yesterday (April 1), Jay Z opened up about his recently launched streaming service, claiming that royalty rates will be higher than Spotify’s.
“You don’t want to single anyone out, per se — but currently we pay the highest royalty percentage,” he said. “And there is no free tier service. If you have five people paying for music, and ten people consuming it, then the artist starts at -5. We start at 1.”
Tidal executive Vania Schlogel was also on hand to answer questions, adding that she believes the free tier offered by services like Spotify is “a part of what’s been driving the downfall of the recorded music industry.”
In the Q&A, which can be read in full at The Fader, Jay Z also revealed he hoped the service would eventually have a “discovery program” that would be used to highlight independent artists in a more effective way than Spotify, “where established artists can take things that they like and just showcase them.”
“It’s all about paying it forward and working very cyclically and discovering new music,” he said. “Imagine if Win from Arcade Fire puts up an artist that he discovered in Haiti — and he had this idea, actually, I don’t want to step on his idea — and through the curation process gets something really good and introduces it to the world. And then the world is inspired by that sound. It gets a little ethereal from there, but just the possibilities of what Tidal can do are really exciting, on a creative front.”
Jay Z also hinted that artists could use Tidal as a platform to launch their music rather than traditional record labels. When asked whether artists might work with the service if their record company contracts expire, he said: “I’m on Tidal. I don’t have a record deal. So… yes.”
For more on Tidal, read Andrew Friedman’s recent opinion piece on whether the service is a terrible business proposition or a smart move for Jay Z.